I have recently started a digital marketing agency in the UK. We got our first few clients after a month of heavy networking and pitching. However, there is a very good contact of mine, who has setup a number of meetings for me.
Basically, he is setting up a few companies and projects and wants me to do the web work for them. In most cases, there is always a third party involved. I have traveled the country meeting these different people and have had meeting after meeting after meeting for two months now.
Phone calls, emails, travel time, meeting time (2 hours minimum a pop) I can't count on one hand how many working days I have dedicated to this stuff.
Unfortunately, these people all have their own businesses or careers paying them handsomely. They seem to love nothing more than to get round a table and discuss "ideas". They seem very slow to get anything moving again, but are always quick to meet-up and discuss more ideas.
Whilst I am grateful for this potential business being put my way, it's costing me a small fortune to attend these meetings and taking significant chunks of time away from other areas of my business.
Do you think I would now be within my rights to charge for my travel and time for these meetings? I am thinking about saying something a long the lines of;
"I am grateful for these opportunities, I am excited about working with all these people, but I have put a lot of time and effort into these projects already and not seen any income from it. From now on, I am going to have to charge an hourly rate of..."
Is that reasonable?
What would you do?
Thanks in advance for any help or sage wisdom and advice you can offer.